For the study, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Pittsburg examined nursing home and Medicare records of 60,000 patients who were hospitalized for hip fractures, Fox News reported.
Researchers found that the majority of patients experienced decreased mobility and one in three had died within six months of their injury, with men facing the greatest risk of death.
Before their injury, the majority of patients were able to get around unassisted or with little help, but after fracturing their hip at least 28 percent were no longer able to move or get around without assistance. Patients were also immobile in bed and were unable to go to the bathroom or take care of their personal hygiene without assistance.
Nearly half of all patients who were tracked for a year after their injury had died and patients over the age of 90 had poorer outcomes than younger patients.
Individuals who had surgery following their hip fracture had much better outcomes than patients who chose to forgo surgery. Researcher found that nearly 12 percent of patients who suffer a hip fracture chose not to have surgery and as a result experienced additional pain and immobility.
Of those who had surgery, only 20 percent of patients who lived outside of a nursing home had died within a year. In contrast, nearly 50 percent of nursing home residents who had reparative surgery died within a year of their injury.
Lead author of the study Dr. Mark D. Neuman said, “We observed that nursing home residents had very bad outcomes in survival and functional status,” following a hip fracture. Why nursing home residents experience worse outcomes in a nursing home is unclear.
“Residents should be cared for in a setting where people are able to have a lot of medical attention regardless of what their survival prognosis is,” Nueman said.
Dr. Neuman said this study shows that even very old patients can benefit from reparative surgery. He added that many patients choose not have surgery. While he said a person shouldn’t undergo surgery if they don’t want to, he added a patient would have a much better outcome by undergoing a simple reparative procedure.
In many cases, a resident who suffers from a hip fracture, is unable to make decisions about their care. Such decisions are made in conjunction with a home and a resident’s family. This study can help families and facilities decide what is in the best interest of the injured elderly person and include what to do in the event of a hip fracture in their care plans.
If a hip fracture is the result of neglect or abuse in a nursing home, a family should contact a nursing home abuse attorney immediately. In some cases, a victim and their family may be entitles to compensation for their medical expenses and suffering, but they won’t know until they reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney and set up a consultation.